How to Get 5 Star Google Reviews – 5 of my best tips
Google reviews can make or break a business. Just a quick glance at the reviews section on a Google Maps listing can be enough to dissuade someone from doing business with a company. On the other hand, a stream of positive reviews can attract new customers and help a business stand out from the competition. So, how can you get more 5 star Google reviews? Read on to find out.
Why fake reviews are a bad idea
As anyone who’s ever tried to game the system knows, getting fake reviews is not only unethical, but it’s also against Google’s policy.
In addition to being against the rules, fake reviews are also easy to spot. savvy customers can usually tell when a review is fake, and this can damage your credibility and reputation. Moreover, if you get caught posting fake reviews, it will reflect poorly on your business and discourage people from doing business with you.
So, what’s a business owner to do? The good news is that there are plenty of legitimate ways to encourage your customers to leave reviews. Here are 5 of my best tips:
TIP 1. Make it easy for them to leave a review
The first step is to make it as easy as possible for your customers to leave a review. Include links to your Google Business page (or wherever else you want them to leave a review) on your website, social media channels, and email signature. You could even include it on physical receipts or customer surveys. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to actually take the time to do it.
You may want to take the time to read my other Blog post “How To See My Google Reviews”
How to Make It Easy for Customers to Leave You a Google Review
Getting Google reviews should be a key part of your digital marketing strategy. Not only do they improve your chances of ranking higher in search results, but they also provide social proof that can convince potential customers to choose your business over the competition
The question is, how do you get more Google reviews?
1. Include a link to your Google Business listing in your email signature
2. Add a “Review Us on Google” page to your website
3. Send follow-up emails after every transaction and include a link to your Google Business listing
4. Mention your Google Business listing in social media posts and include a link
5. Use signage and other promotional materials to remind customers to leave a review on Google
6. Run promotions and offer discounts or prizes for customers who leave a review on Google
7. Make it easy for customers to find your Google Business listing by adding it to your menu bar or website header
8. Ask customers for feedback via an email survey and mention that they can leave a review on Google if they’re happy with their experience
9. Encourage employees to ask customers for reviews at the point of sale or service
10. Implement a “Google Reviews widget” on your website so that visitors can see recent reviews while they’re browsing your site
Asking customers for reviews doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming—there are many small changes you can make that will encourage more people to leave you a review on Google. Implement some (or all!) of the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to getting more positive reviews—and boosting your business in the process.
TIP 2. Don’t offer incentives to leave a review
As tempting as it may be to offer incentives in exchange for online reviews, resist the urge!
This includes anything from offering discounts or coupons to giving away free products or services. When customers see that businesses are offering rewards in exchange for positive reviews, they’ll start to question the sincerity of those reviews—and your business’s integrity as well. Instead of bribing your customers, simply ask them politely if they would be willing to leave a review and express how much you would appreciate it if they did.
The Dark Side of Incentivising Google Reviews
The chances are you’ve been bombarded with advice on the importance of collecting Google reviews. What you may not have been told, however, is that offering incentives in exchange for those reviews is against Google’s policies—and it could come back to bite you.
The Dangers of Incentivising Reviews
Google’s guidelines are clear: “Don’t offer or accept money, products, services, or anything else of value to write reviews for a business, or to write negative reviews about a competitor.” Violating these guidelines could result in your reviews being removed—or, in extreme cases, your business being suspended from Google altogether.
Of course, that doesn’t stop some businesses from trying to game the system. A quick search on any freelancer site will turn up dozens of offers from people willing to write fake positive reviews for a fee. And while it may be tempting to take them up on their offer, doing so could do serious damage to your business in the long run.
Incentivised reviews lack credibility
Incentivised reviews lack credibility and can damage your reputation. potential customers can see right through them, and they’ll be turned off by your attempts to manipulate the system. Worse yet, if Google catches wind of what you’re doing, they could penalise your business— jeopardising all the hard work you’ve put into building it up
So, when it comes to Google reviews, play it safe and follow the rules. Don’t offer incentives for positive reviews, and don’t pay for fake ones. Focus on providing great service and delivering an outstanding customer experience instead. Your reputation—and your business—will be better off in the long run.
TIP 3. Request specific feedback
When asking customers for feedback, be specific about what kind of feedback you’re looking for.
This will ensure that all of the reviews you receive are high quality and helpful, rather than being one-sentence (and often unhelpful) comments like “Great job!”
Asking customers questions like “What did you think of our product/service?” or “How was your experience working with us?” will encourage them to leave detailed feedback that potential future customers will find useful when making their own purchasing decisions.
Tips on getting the most helpful feedback
Asking for feedback can be tricky- especially when you’re asking for specific types of feedback in your Google reviews. But, there are a few tips you can follow to make sure you’re getting the most helpful feedback possible.
First, be clear and concise in what you’re asking for. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to get targeted feedback that you can use.
Second, make sure to ask questions that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” This will encourage your customers to leave detailed responses.
Finally, let your customers know that you appreciate their feedback- no matter what it is. Showing gratitude will not only encourage them to leave more reviews in the future, but it will also help to build a positive relationship with your customers.
TIP 4. Train your staff to ask for reviews
Encourage your employees to mention reviews when they’re speaking with customers, and make sure they know how important they are for businesses.
How to Train Your Staff to Ask for Google Reviews
Asking customers for reviews can be a tough sell. No one wants to feel like they’re being sold to, and asking for a review implies that you want something from the customer.
However, reviews are an important part of any business’s online presence, and they can directly impact your bottom line. The good news is that there are a few simple ways to train your staff to ask for reviews in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y or pushy
1. Talk about the benefits of reviews
The first step is to make sure that your staff understands why reviews are important. Explain that potential customers use reviews to make decisions about which businesses to patronise, and that positive reviews can lead to more business. You might even want to give them some specific examples of how great reviews have helped your business in the past
2. Make it part of the script
Once your staff understands why reviews are important, you need to make sure that they actually ask for them. The best way to do this is to make asking for a review part of your standard script. For example, you might say something like, “If you had a great experience today and you’re happy with our products or services, we would really appreciate it if you could leave us a positive review on Google.”
3. Train them on what to say (and what not to say)
It’s important that your staff knows exactly what to say when they’re asking for a review—and just as importantly, what not to say.
Make sure they know how to explain the process quickly and efficiently, and stress the importance of not putting pressure on the customer or making them feel obligated in any way. You might even want to role-play with them so they can practice asking for reviews in a variety of different scenarios
Asking customers for reviews can be tough, but it’s worth it—reviews are one of the most important factors potential customers use when deciding which businesses to patronise.
By following these simple steps, you can easily train your staff to ask for reviews in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y or pushy—and that will help draw more business to your door.
TIP 5. Say thank you.
Whenever someone leaves a review—positive or negative—respond and express your gratitude.
This shows that you care about what customers have to say, and it might even encourage them to edit their review if it’s not completely positive.
Responding to positive reviews is easy, but what if it is a negative review?
What do you do when you receive a negative Google review?
As a business owner, one of the best ways to build credibility and attract new customers is by getting positive reviews on Google. But what do you do when you receive a negative review?
While it may be tempting to ignore the problem or delete the review entirely, this is not the best course of action. Instead, here are a few tips on how to respond to negative Google reviews:
- Take a deep breath and try not to take the criticism personally. Remember that even the best businesses will occasionally get a negative review.
- Reach out to the customer directly and try to resolve the issue offline. If you are able to resolve the problem, ask them to update their review accordingly.
- If you are unable to resolve the issue directly with the customer, responding publicly can be helpful. Be professional and courteous in your response, and avoid getting into a back-and-forth argument with the reviewer.
I am a firm believer in know, like and trust, and by following these tips, you can turn a negative review into an opportunity to build customer trust and loyalty.
In conclusion, here are a few final tips to remember when it comes to asking for and responding to reviews:
- Make sure your staff understands why reviews are important
- Train them on what to say—and what not to say—when asking for a review
- Say thank you, both to positive and negative reviewers
- Finally, remember that reviews are an important part of doing business, but they should never be the only factor that potential customers use when making a decision. Use reviews as one part of a larger marketing strategy, and you’ll be sure to attract more business.